Arsenal defender Ben White was not included in the England squad for the international games against Ukraine and Scotland this month, and has not been called up since returning home during the World Cup last year.
No one knows exactly why Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate has been ignoring the Gunners star, but talkSPORT journalist Adrian Durham believes there is more to the matter than meets the eyes.
White has been one of the best defenders in the Premier League this term and should have been invited to the camp if the selection was based on merit alone.
“It is a conundrum, isn’t it?” Durham replied Arsenal hero Ray Parlour when asked if the England door has been closed on the 25-year-old.
“Because he is playing for one of the best teams in the country. He is performing for one of the best teams in the country. He is versatile, can play centre-back or right-back. He can even play in midfield.
“I think there has not been enough transparency here, maybe for good reasons as well.
“Ben White came home from the World Cup, and we were all wondering why and hoping there was nothing wrong. We have never really found out why.
“For Gareth Southgate not to call him up and not to really talk about it, you suspect, we don’t have any information, but you suspect from that that something has happened between the two of them, and maybe Southgate is not happy with him.”
White came home early from Qatar with the official explanation being ‘personal reasons’, but the issues that meant he could not remain with the World Cup squad did not prevent him from joining up with his Arsenal teammates in Dubai for a warm-weather training some days later.
Manchester United centre-back Harry Maguire has played just 23 minutes of football this term but earned a call-up, while Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold pulled out of international duty due to a knock but was not replaced.
White has been better than Maguire since the start of last season and is good enough to earn a place in the England squad with both Alexander-Arnold and Reece James unavailable due to injuries, and Southgate simply is not picking him due to non-footballing reasons.
The Three Lions boss has refused to give a clear explanation for why he has continuously snubbed the Arsenal star, mostly claiming there are some players ahead of him, which is clearly not the case.